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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the Savings and Internal Lending
Communities’ (SILC) project on the sustainability of the socio-economic status of the intended
beneficiaries of Bamba division, Kilifi County. Objectives of the study were to establish whether
the savings and internal lending communities’ project has had an effect on the household income
of those practicing; to determine whether the project has had an effect in sustaining the
educational standards of OVCs in the project; to determine whether the project’s funds had
sustained access to health facilities as well as payment of treatment fees and purchase of drugs;
to determine whether the project has had an effect on investments through income generating
activities on the intended beneficiaries; and also to determine the factors influencing the level of
project’s participation amongst the intended beneficiaries. Guardians and caregivers of orphans
and vulnerable children needed to sustain themselves after the PEPFAR project had ended which
was majorly a HIV/AIDS five– year project. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) therefore developed
its community-based savings-led initiatives known as Savings and Internal Lending
Communities (SILC) to reach a large group of extremely vulnerable poor people with limited
savings and borrowing capacity—especially women in rural communities. Reviews done by
Miruka 2007 on the project in Kenya indicated that one of the interesting trends noted from the
data collected on loans from the intervention was the portion of loans used for productive
purposes. The study population for this study comprised of four hundred guardians/caregivers of
OVCs in the PEPFAR project. The sample to be studied was purposively selected to include
those guardians of orphans and vulnerable children project to establish if the intervention was
effective to them. Prior authority was obtained from the area district commissioner and the
divisional officer. A mixed methodology approach was used in data collection and a cross
sectional survey was the research design used. A Pre-test questionnaire was administered to the
target population as a tool for quantitative data collection. The qualitative data was collected
using the focused group discussions. A basic distribution of data was done, categorical data was
presented using frequencies and percentages while continuous data was presented using mean.
Data was analyzed using descriptive techniques and STATA package was also utilized. The
findings were presented in tables which were followed by brief explanations of the same,
findings were then interpreted and recommendations made as well as suggestions for further
studies. Noted in this study was that almost all the intended beneficiaries had actually taken up
the intervention unlike before where a larger majority had shunned away from participating
simply because they lacked the cash to save. This study showed that 91.5% of those interviewed
had taken up the intervention. Results from this study indicated that the SILC intervention was
actually effective in that it improved the household incomes of the beneficiaries as well as
providing for the young ones in terms of education. Access to health centers was also found to be
effected by the SILC intervention as savings were used for the purpose with 76.4% utilizing the
funds on that. The study also found that the quality of knowledge on SILC by the beneficiaries
contributed to their increased levels of participation indicating that those perceived to be poor
needed to be educated on the importance of pulling together and not to necessarily rely on
outside help. Drought and famine was found to be a limiting factor for the few non participants
as they opted to look for finances elsewhere and consume the little they had.
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